EDC’s new editor digs journalism
El Defensor Chieftain officially has a new editor.
Jackie Schlotfeldt reported for full-time duty on Monday, Feb. 1. She unofficially started last month, by covering the two January meetings of the Socorro County Commission.
“We’re thrilled to have Jackie on board with us on a full-time basis,” said EDC General Manager T.S. Last, who worked with Schlotfeldt for three years while both were on the editorial staff of the Valencia County News-Bulletin. “She’s a solid journalist and a person of integrity. I know Jackie will not only work hard for El Defensor Chieftain, but for the people in this area, providing them with the stories, news and information pertinent to their lives.”
Schlotfeldt fills the vacancy created by the departure of former editor Gerald Garner Jr. last November.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the people in Socorro County, as well as the excellent staff at the Chieftain,” said Schlotfeldt. “We will continue to provide the county with coverage of the issues affecting residents, in addition to highlighting the many local events that make this county so unique.”
With New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and two National Wildlife Refuges located here, Socorro County would seem to be a good fit for Schlotfeldt. Believe it or not, she’s a former miner and lists wildlife photography was one of her interests.
“I drove a 240-ton haul truck … I can haul any kind of rock,” she quipped while recalling her days working for a mining company in Arizona. “And I worked labor — digging ditches, running equipment and working a jack hammer. I worked five years with them, then quit and went back to school.”
Schlotfeldt, 46, grew up in Las Cruces and attended New Mexico State University after graduating from Mayfield High School. But she dropped out of college after one year, got married and eventually wound up driving a haul truck for Phelps Dodge Morenci Inc.
Schlotfeldt returned to New Mexico State University, in 2000, graduated with a degree in journalism, and then set out to fulfill a childhood dream.
“Since I was little, I always loved it,” she said when asked why she chose to pursue a career in journalism. “I got my first camera when I was 12, and I always loved photography and writing.”
Schlotfeldt won several awards at the state and national level for writing and photography while working for the Valencia County News-Bulletin. She’s won awards from the National Newspaper Association for photo essays feature photo and feature writing series. She also won awards from the New Mexico Press Association for feature photos, feature writing and investigative reporting.
Schlodtfeldt also done freelance work for the Las Cruces Bulletin.
El Defensor Chieftain’s new editor said she enjoys the job because she likes telling stories, “and I like making sure the public gets the information it needs.”
The former miner is still settling into her new digs at EDC, but she looks forward to becoming more acquainted with the area and the people who live here.
“I like to be part of the community,” she said. “I love getting out in the community, meeting people and learning about different things — listening to stories and finding out about how things work. It’s something new every day.”
Schlotfedlt can be reached at 575-835-0520. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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